These facts which are compiled about religion in Nigeria were gotten from authoritative sources around the internet.
- The richest pastor in the world is a Nigerian, Bishop David Oyedepo, founder of Living Faith Ministries aka Winners Chapel. He has an estimatd net worth of $150 million according to Forbes.
- The Largest church auditorium in Africa is Winners Chapel Faith Terbanacle owned by Bishop David Oyedepo.
- According to an online report, pastors from Nigeria are among the world richest pastors. Some of them include: Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, T. B Joshua, Pastor Mahew Ashimolowo, Pastor Chris Okotie, etc.
- Though Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam, Nigeria has more Muslims than Saudi Arabia
- In the whole of Africa, Nigeria has more more Muslims than any other country in Africa.
- Lagos alone is filled with more than two hundred churches with different names than in any country in Africa.
- The largest church in the United Kingdom(UK) is owned by a Nigerian, Mathew Ashimolowo.
- The following pastors own a private jet- Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, Bishop david Oyedepo, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Bishop Mike Okonkwo and T. B Joshua.
Major Types of Religion in Nigeria
Religion has different meaning and significance to the lives of people. Majority view religious practice as the worship of a supreme deity (God) while others see religion as an obligation or even a means to the solution to their many problems.
Aside culture, religion in Nigeria is a factor that unites and divide citizens. This has played a major role in electing leaders in top positions in various states in the country and even the president. Aside the facts about Nigeria’s religion given above, we shall look deeper at the types that exist in the country today.
Before we go further, note that the three major tribes in the country which are Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa ethnic group have a kind of religious practice dominant in these tribes respectively. Either ways, these ethnic groups had their different religious practices prior to the colonization of Nigeria by the British.
Below are the three major types of religions practiced in Nigeria today
The Islamic religion was the first religion introduced in Nigeria and could be traced to the 11th century. Prior to its emergence, people worshiped deities or anything that answers their prayers. It was Usman Dan Fodio that was the pioneer to this movement which had more presence in the northern part of the country.
Mosques were built for worship and schools were built were Islam was taught. Those who practice this type of religion are called Muslims and they base their faith in the worship of Allah and the teachings of prophet Mohammed which is written in their holy book, the Koran.
By the 16th century, Islam spread to other areas in the north as more people joined before the arrival of the colonial masters. Some northern states where Islam is popular in Nigeria include: Kano, Kastina, Borno, Sokoto, Borno, Kwara, Nassarawa, Adamawa, Yobe, Niger states respectively.
In the southern, eastern and western parts of the country, the percentage of Muslims isn’t as pronounced as that of Christianity.
Christianity is the most popular religion in Nigeria with many denominations spread throughout the country. it was introduced in the country by the white missionaries during the mid 16th to 17th century.
This religion is centered on the life of Jesus Christ, a righteous man who came and taught peace, lived and was killed by the Jews in Israel around 2500 years ago. Those who practice Christianity in Nigeria are known as Christians and the holy book that contains the message and teachings of Jesus Christ and his apostles is known as the Holy Bible.
Christianity is more prevalent in the south, west and eastern regions in Nigeria than the north. The place of worship for Christians in the country is called “Church”.
Authentic reports suggest that there are about 65 million Christians in Nigeria as of 2016. Some popular denominations that exist in the country include: Catholic, Anglicans, Protestants, White garment churches, Orthodox, etc.
This was regarded as the Nigerian religion of our ancestors. This was practiced before the coming of Islam and Christianity into the country. Traditional religion in Nigeria is still practiced by about 10% of the populace, especially in the rural areas.
This indigenous pattern of worship of inanimate objects called idols, sacred trees, rivers, gods and goddesses, animals such as Lions, Monkeys, Snakes, Lizard, etc was said to serve as a guide and exercised authority over to the people that worship such small deities using blood sacrifice to worship and appease them.